Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Lazarus Market

"Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". Thus quipped Mark Twain when he heard that The New York Times had, rather prematurely, printed his obituary.

The bubbly stockmarket of the previous two months (sharpest rise in 70+ years) provides a similar counterpoint: Reports of the imminent resurrection of the economy are greatly exaggerated. Besides the bleating heard from the Wall Street herd (what do lemmings sound like, anyway?), such cacophony is emanating from a multitude of other overeager prophets. From the Fed and ECB respectively, Bernanke is talking about green shoots (an apt analogy for grazing omnivores?) while Trichet says the eurozone is "bottoming out" (a bum pincher, is it?).

Apologies to the religious, but I don't believe in miracles - particularly when they are pre-announced (on March 3 Mr. Obama said stocks offered bargains for long-term investors), orchestrated (Fed and Treasury immediately picked up the tune) and carried out in concert with interested parties operating not-so-behind the scenes (e.g. stress test results were radically beautified before announcement).

Thus, I'll call this market Lazarus, just like Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) called his giant rabbit companion Harvey. This is a market that does not describe the economy as it is, but as it should be according to the rising number of false prophets of boom.

No matter how many times this market cries "Lazarus, come out!", the real economy is not going to revive until the fundamentals are there once more. And this won't happen with mere injections of money on bank balance sheets, no matter how many trillions are involved.

Once again, then: what is needed is help on the earned income side, not the asset side. Good jobs and good pay, not higher prices for stocks and real estate. Period.


  1. Another home run, the fundamentals will not return until we get a huge debt-cleansing event.

    However, when this happens it will take out the whole economy. In fact, I think a debt default is at hand. In this instance the karmic burden of the debt will be repayed with blood, life and much agony.

    Joe M.

  2. @ Joe

    "In this instance the karmic burden of the debt will be repayed with blood, life and much agony."

    or with kindness and Socialism.


  3. I agree with good jobs and good pay. This starts by taxing offshore manufacturing and offshore back-office jobs from bookkeeping to programing.

    Next we need to deport the illegal Mexicans that drive down labor costs of blue collar jobs, to the point of 3rd world wages.

    Without white and blue collar jobs there is no middle class and there is no America.

    People need to realize that outsourcing and illegal Mexicans are the problem. Anyway you look at it.

  4. Well Anonymous, are you the anon who has been making hateful comments on this blog for a while ?
    Maybe, maybe not...
    The tune is changing just a little bit.
    I still think that illegal Mexicans are in the U.S doing work that "other" Americans seem to think is beneath them. Will they continue to think that such work is beneath them in the great scramble which is arriving in the mother country or not ? Time will tell...
    I am going to remind dink at this point when so few of YOU are sympathetic to the plight of the ENORMOUS population behind bars in the U.S., in the face of the country's desire to punish the hell out of everybody that miracles are indeed possible, YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE ENOUGH FAITH, and to NOT have a terminal case of cynicism and jaded appetites in order to be able to PERCEIVE THEM when they arrive.
    And SS, you really have to live in France to understand how far away socialism is from kindness. Really, really far away.
    But you guys, you may not know it, I think indeed that you do NOT, but rampant socialism is going on all over the U.S. It is present in the incredible conformity of the masses. It is evident as legislation and law enforcement create more and more automatisms in our behavior every day. Our behavior is very very automatic. And that, in my book, is a socialist tendency.
    So... don't be fooled by the words, you guys. It's what's behind them that counts.
    Remember "democracy" ?

  5. @Debra,

    I have lived in France, all I missed were the tomatoes since I lived in a working class suburb of Paris La Garenne Colombes (made famous by Boris Vian). Is Socialism that difficult for a Middelton girl to swallow?

    Socialism is a better system and goal just like Christianity as practiced by Christ is a better way and goal.

    Kindness embodied in our systems must be the way out not "blood, life and much agony" as Karmic pay back. Nous sommes tous les enfants, as we said in '68!


  6. Middlebury, not Middleton...
    I could really get my feathers up at what I could take for preaching from a person who is NOT a permanent expatriate, but I will show my customary GRANDEUR D'AME...
    France's socialism is a translation of the centralist system that was perfected under Louis XIV, and has basically perdured to this day. It was initiated under Philippe le Bel, which takes it WAY WAY back to times when the word "socialist" was not in ANYONE'S imagination... Words, SS.
    I do NOT believe in a collective good that evacuates unto the concept of the individual, SS.
    This is an insoluble problem, as the (sometimes) friendly sparring between yoyo and Thai reminds us.
    I am a rugged individualist.
    I have NO democratic illusions, neither do I have any American prejudices against communism or socialism. I have been here for 30 years now. And I left my American illusions and prejudices behind me a long time ago. I think, at least...
    No kindness in any ideological system that evacuates the face of the Other, to borrow from Levinas (who I have NOT read, by the way).

  7. Do I spy hints of Mike Whitney and Michael Hudson peeking through your esteemed analysis? Only problem I see, however, is global wage arbitrage. Developed countries are simply too hi-cost to compete effectively. By pursuing exploitation after WW2, the imperial western powers may have sabotaged their long term future prospects for 50-60 years of exaggerated false prosperity. The whole world would have been better off with balanced sustainable development; now we may just have missed our last chance. Do sufficient resources still exist to make the transition?

  8. Dear yoyomo,

    Do resources exist for the transition? Yes, without doubt they do - provided we re-allocate them from consumption to investment. For example, instead of buying all those extra consumer items I don't really need, I could invest in a new smart electric meter for my home.

    There are literally dozens of such choices available, even on an individual basis.


  9. Just curious...Are you guys really insomniacs on this blog ? 4:26, 5:04, are you really awake and padding around in those time frames or is my computer playing tricks on me ?

  10. Ahhh.. don't you just love it.. "In The Still of The Night"?

    Of course, there is also the fact that the world DOES go 'round and 'round... ALL the time.

  11. The Earl of ObviousMay 14, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    Yes, we do need to get back to fundamentals: manufacturing at living wages and reasonable lending. But, when looking toward the future are we not all (capitalists, communists and all in between) acknowledging and trying to define the potential actions of the invisible hand?

    If unchecked, the hand will gluttonously take: Wall Street

    If watched too closely it will not move: India

    If exploited it will eventually give show its middle finger: rise of unions

    If restrained it will punch you in the face: Bastille and the fall of the wall.

  12. Yo re: "now we may just have missed our last chance. Do sufficient resources still exist to make the transition?"

    Has this been your concern all along?

    Don't you see Hell's point is absolutely correct?

    We live in a non-linear world.

    This non-linearity exists for everything (not just car mileage).

    Think social norms/behaviors, cooperation, etc... all as being highly non-linear

    Small changes at the extremes (e.g. of any of these boundaries can make big big differences to members within the boundaries of a system).

    ... please tell me that made sense.

    It does not take much to fix this problem (at least not much that a little cooperation cannot fix).

  13. From your lips Hel to God's (or at least the planners') ears but I don't see much cooperation with NATO doing its best to provoke a confrontation with Russia and other destabilizing (and resource consuming) policies around the world.

    Then there is also the ~5B people in the less developed parts of the world who are waiting to get their share but I hope you're right. As for my own consumption, I'm the only person I know who still darns his socks.

    Not to me Thai but then it's obvious our brains are wired differently. I doubt we'll ever fit together down the same rabbit hole but that probably won't stop us from chasing each other around the bush when we're feeling frisky.

  14. Thanks Yo. I am sure we will. :-)

    Re: "brains hardwired differently", this has always been one of my points if I was unclear.

    Have you been at least skimming my links (I have been reading yours).

    ... I particularly loved Haidt's comment "you're trapped in a moral matrix" (which is how I tend to view you). And I thought Deb would love the comments re: Puritanism.

    I would suggest you take the test and let me know how many primary moral "building blocks" your brain has, but the link seems down for a little while.

    I would suspect you have a 2 channel system of morality in your brain whereas I clearly have 5 channels system.

    Also notice how Haidt talks about groups and then subgroups each with their own substructure- I am not sure if you see it or not but he is clearly talking about fractals. Dink, do you see this????

    Anyway, I obviously wholly agree with the Burke's quote:

    "The restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights"

    As Haidt wonderfully comments: "The great conservative insight is that order is really hard to achieve, it is really precious."

    I am sure that both you and I can agree that cooperation can be really hard to achieve.

    Certainly religious leaders (often conservative) have understood probably forever (and correctly imo) that cooperation is the most powerful force on this planet.

    This can be for good AND bad.

    I completely agree.

  15. I listened all the way through your link, Thai (I don't usually do this because the time I spend on blogs + links could take up my whole day if I let it...).
    I wrote my pastor a couple of months ago that I have abandoned the idea of truth. I think it is a trap.
    I think that I have a passionate commitment to favoring anything and everything that I find to be on the side of life (and when Jesus said "you are either for me or against me, I think that he was saying that if you are not passionately devoted to what makes men live, then you are necessarily entwined with what makes men die). And that instinctively and without resorting to any theory of any kind, I know what is on the side of life and living.
    And... I am NEITHER a liberal nor a conservative, Thai.
    But I have close to 30 years on both sides of the couch to thank for that..

  16. One last comment about the liberal/conservative split that I hear ad nauseum.
    I don't hear all that many LIBERALS anywhere in the U.S. ranting about the rate of imprisonment in the U.S. the way that I am.
    Could it just possibly be that the word "liberal" doesn't mean the same thing to people like in around the 60's or 70's, and today ?
    For all the self congratulation that so many "liberals" indulge in in the U.S. these days I see them as basically... CONSERVATIVE...

  17. Fair enough.

    BUT you do hate money.

    While this could be interpreted in some ways as "pro life", it can also be just as strongly be interpreted as "anti life".

    I am not sure what order your views try to maintain either.

    re: prisons

    If you have a "solution" that really works, I think everyone would love to hear it.

    Personally I think America probably has more diversity than is healthy for the kind of social cohesion we see in places like Denmark, etc... (and I mean diversity in every imaginable way it can be thought of).

    But it is what it is.

    I do tend to agree with those who see the boundaries between a lot of these diversities eventually going away, in a kind of cultural extinction event that will be very hard for people to understand or see until it is one day less of an issue.

    But it will take a while, no doubt about that, and the net result may be that my grand kids are a whole lot browner than I, they practice a religion I currently know nothing about, they live in much smaller homes in much higher density communities than I currently live, they commute shorter distances to work in public transportation I currently don't use and they waste less food, etc...

    But who can predict the future

  18. Debra: "I still think that illegal Mexicans are in the U.S doing work that "other" Americans seem to think is beneath them."

    At what price? The price an undocumented Third World immigrant is willing to do it? Or the price it should be to get the labor you need to do the work or force automation of the work.

  19. You know Marcus, I really think you are making a fair statement that I completely agree with.

    And although you are in effect saying the same thing as that racists anti Mexican blogger (I absolutely realize you are not racist), AND I disagree with it on my own personal hierarchy of unfairness, still I do absolutely recognize that it is fair to point this out as it is a zero-sum issue.

    Americans are selling out some of their current citizens for sexier foreigners so to speak and it is fair for these Americans to feel betrayed.

    But I don't think railing against the corruption of the elites is going to get you the cooperation you want to stop this (indeed I don't think you can completely stop it, but you may "slow it down").

    I truly do believe arguments re: "slowing down the pace of social change" will resonate with many many people in this country- particularly those with 5 moral tracks (I chose this particular article for Yo due to his morbid fascination with criticizing Jews).

    Diversity definitely has its downsides, I definitely see this.

    Just more evidence that all decisions we make in the world really are zero sum. And as the video I posted above reminds us, our brains are hardwired to make us ignore the truth.

    At least that is just my 2 cents.

    But we do for once agree

  20. The incredibly fascinating thing about the invisible hand of the market is stuff like this.

    It kind of reminds me of the voice of my lead partner saying "just wait a little"...

    These things do have a way of working themselves out in the most miraculous of ways sometimes.

    As I guess as cynic would say they would since the non-linear relationships are often so difficult to see (until they of course become apparant).

  21. Thai, for your focus exercise today why don't you try to refer to what is written in the post, instead of jumping off the page to some far away reference, like this:

    "But I don't think railing against the corruption of the elites is going to get you the cooperation you want to stop this"

    Is this in a long line of "railings" against nebulous "elites"?

    Are you in the "elite" class? Am I not? Indications in the past seem to lead to that thought in your nut. Your weird repeated suggestions to me to go to nursing school comes to mind. You being a doctor consider this a lower status position, right?

    About cooperation with "elites". Think about other societies in history, that had a lower class armed to the teeth, under social and or economic stress. Cooperation is not what they were looking for, decimation of their "elites" is what they settled for.

    You have no knowledge of my income or occupational status, yet you make assumptions like an ass. Don't make assumptions deal with what is written on the page today.

  22. Your future is already my present, Thai...
    I'm not proposing any "solutions" on a global level.
    The only "solutions" that I can propose are on an individual one, and in this respect I am extremely consistent.
    Getting rid of boot camps all over the country, drug treatment programs vs imprisonment, are just two little steps that could be taken towards reducing imprisonment. And this imprisonment level is due to extremely negative presuppositions about humanity in general, a terrible lack of generousness, and an overall despair in American society as a whole. Loïc Wacquant, a Frenchie at CalDavis, I think, has written that the U.S. has been "solving" its poverty and housing for the poor problem through imprisonment for quite some time now, and I agree.
    But sometimes you have to put the cart before the horse, and DO things which are going to produce consequences, rather than WAITING for things to get better, and then acting. But granted you need to reflect seriously on WHAT you're going to do, so that it doesn't end up being like... throwing trillions of $$$$ at credit debt. That's not a solution.
    As for order, Thai, it is one of those words that tends to make me sneer, particularly these days. I will make no apologies for this, as in my book, it takes all kinds to make up a (diverse...) world, and I have my place, just as surely as others have theirs.
    For the illegal aliens question, this one makes me kind of want to laugh at some people's naiveté.
    WHEN climate warming reaches unbearable peaks, then the people from the South will in all probability start arriving by boatloads IN ORDER TO SURVIVE, and then, all the magically automated fences will be totally USELESS to stop them coming.
    I hold this to be true for the EU too.
    Immigration, even illegal, is down to a teeny weeny trickle in France, once the country that welcomed the oppressed in Europe.
    But the illegal aliens are NOT dumb. They KNOW already just how UNWELCOMING and UNGENEROUS France is these days, so those who are here are here because there is really no other solution for them. And I presume, idem for the Mexicans, given the legendary American generosity and welcome these days...

  23. First things first Thai,
    Read the damn book, you don't have to do it in one sitting but you obviously need to read it because you have no idea what I'm talking about. It is the best short summary of how Jewish theology relates to Gentiles. Once you have some idea what you're talking about you can then tell me exactly what is morbid about my fascination.

    I also was going to direct you to a website ( the special horrors of kosher slaughter houses (as opposed to the normal horrors of general slaughter houses) but it seems that site has been seized by the Israel lobby in Canada using hate speech laws that they want to implement in the US to shut down any discussion of what Jews or Israel does.

  24. BTW, the above book review was written by an Israeli Jew (not a German Nazi) and, of course so was the book. Since you're a doctor, here's a snippet that you should find relevant:

    "I was profoundly shocked and disappointed to learn from Shahak's book that the revered Maimonides (author of the Mishneh Torah in the 12th century, an early code of Talmudic law) was the promulgator of laws directing Jewish physicians' relations with non-Jewish patients. In essence, Jewish physicians were to withhold treatment from non-Jews except where such behavior would engender "the hostility" of the non-Jews."

    and another:

    "The important purpose was to mislead the "goyim" (I have always cringed at the use of that term for non-Jews, inevitably accompanied by a grimace or a sneer to convey contempt, or worse) as to Talmudic laws governing each and every personal and social interaction among Jews and between Jews and non-Jews.

    Shahak details for us some of the myriad manifestations of this "prevarication." They include removing the most offensive passages when the Talmud is translated into languages other than Hebrew, substituting false translations in the "foreign" language, or using irrelevant words for the real, distasteful ones.

    However, the real words and ideas, in the original Hebrew, are preserved in the text that has been read and studied by Jews over more than a millennium."

    You obviously find the subject matter too uncomfortable to confront head on so you always try to side step it. You might have good Jewish friends you care for but that doesn't mean they subscribe to any of this stuff. Most secular Jews are totally unaware of it and for obvious reasons prefer to remain so.

  25. Now, before moving on to other matters, I thought you would be interested in the opinion of a fellow Scottsman about Chimp-Boy since you insisted that he was merely incompetent but couldn't be considered evil. Remember, this ain't me talking but somebody with the inside dope.

    Re:2 vs 5 track morality; you're both wrong and right. You're wrong about me being two track (I'm a Five) but you are right that I care most about harm and fairness. Funny thing I noticed in the graphs that the Anglophile countries had the steepest drop off in concern about H&F while in the ME & SAsia the line for H&F was perfectly horizontal. Might that have something to do with 2.5% tax on wealth for the poor?

    I very much value order (I would go as far as supporting banning going out of your house under the influence whether you're driving or not) but not if it will be used as a smokescreen for robbery by the rich. When the plunder reaches beyond a certain point I have no problem with the guillotines going up in the town squares manned by the neighborhood committees.

    I realize the danger of innocents being swept up with the guilty but that is why it behooves everyone to become motivated in good governance before that horrible stage is reached otherwise every one will be forced to share in the misery.

  26. Re: suggestions of nursing school and staying on point.

    I will quote Hell from this particular: "Once again, then: what is needed is help on the earned income side, not the asset side. Good jobs and good pay, not higher prices for stocks and real estate. Period."

    Focus Marcus. Focus.

    Yo, you are right (there I said it). This torture stuff is evil.

  27. P.S. Re: The Scottsman link; please read first three comments, especially the one regarding the Salvadore Option. Howard Zinn wrote an excellent article about it in The Progressive mag back in 2004 before it even started and he said that John Negroponte would be the one sent over to institute it and that is exactly what happened.

    And Thai, this is not simply a matter of torture (bad enough) but also of using that torture to manufacture false evidence against someone innocent of the accusation; much, much worse.

    Just curious, no opinion on Maimonides' commandment to Jewish physicians not to treat Gentiles unless it will endanger the Jewish community? Is your wife Jewish (& kids maybe) that you can't bring yourself to examine some rather straightforward evidence? These accusations don't come from Mein Kampf; these are the commandments in the Talmud and Mishneh; who is responsible for writing them? the rabbis or the so-called anti-semites?

  28. Re: "... this is not simply a matter of torture (bad enough) but also of using that torture to manufacture false evidence against someone innocent of the accusation; much, much worse."

    Agreed. I should have made myself much clearer in my last response (contrary to popular opinion, I do sometimes try to reduce my windbag tendencies).

    The first is a personal betrayal to another human being, the second is a betrayal to the collective and a form of treason.

    I really do understand this. Our minds were clearly designed to recognize collective betray as much much worse than individual betrayal because of the effect it has on social order. As I have said before, I read a fair bit about this stuff.

    re: Judaism. Again, my favorite topics are evolutionary psychology, etc... I do read about stuff like "the psychology of groups" a fair bit (if you will remember from the Haidt video on Morality, he talks about how people with shared morals become a group and you get into the psychology of groups, etc...)

    ALL groups at their core have to have some element (or "packet" or "building block") that sees itself/its group as being the most important thing that exists and that all other things are secondary to this.

    I won't go into this in the interest of "windbag" but this property is actually a fundamental aspect of information science. Any student of computer science, information science, artificial intelligence, epistemology, complexity science, chemistry, physics, etc... will tell you this, they will just talk about it in different ways.

    Groups cannot be sustained without this kernel.

    We have people that feel this way about Jews, gentiles, Muslims, political ideologies, etc... (you name it).

    And I have many many Jewish colleagues I have seen go well beyond the call of duty to care for non-Jews and make substantial personal/familial sacrifice for others who don't practice their religion.

    I realize you see these ultra nationalists as secretly growing like weeds.

    My reality tells me they are a small group to be managed.

    Yo, can you create a email and we can take the conversation off line?

  29. "And I have many many Jewish colleagues I have seen go well beyond the call of duty to care for non-Jews and make substantial personal/familial sacrifice for others who don't practice their religion."

    I hope I've made it sufficiently clear I'm not talking about all Jews (I had a Jewish doctor, and friend, for 25 years until he retired and moved to UK) but a narrow group exemplified by as follows:

    "By accident, an automobile accompanying Lubavitcher Rabbi Schneursohn struck a young black boy. A Hasidic Jewish-owned ambulance was summoned to attend to the driver's injuries. Jewish law entered the situation when the ambulance driver departed without extending assistance to the dying African-American child. As interpreted by the Hasidic driver, Jewish law forbids it!"

    If you don't have time to read the book just read the review and we can drop the issue; I've flogged it enough. I'm not trying to sway your opinion, just to inform you of some information, which you may not be aware of, upon which I base some of my opinions. Once you have that info, further jawing doesn't serve much purpose.

  30. Wow, you just can't miss a day on Sudden Debt w/o being 58 interesting links behind! I will be catching up on them this weekend.

    FWIW, I'm all for exposing misbehavior of various groups, but I can't seem to get into this one as much. All these old religious texts seem batty and antisocial. Even the new religious texts (mormon) are batty and antisocial.

  31. Dink,
    These are not obsolete texts, they are in active use today; that is my main point. The accident with the black child happened in Brooklyn in the 1980's, the car went on the sidewalk and crushed the kid and the driver fled to Israel which wouldn't return him to the US to be tried for vehicular homicide because as far as Jewish law is concerned the death of a Gentile is not a punishable crime.

    Either read the book (or at the very least the review) or don't pretend you know what you're talking about. If you can't spare the time for 120p then this summary is an essential companion to the book review. Just remember, these texts are being used today by both some religious Jews and secular/atheist zionists to justify theft, murder and even slavery.

    I'm not making this up; if you are found keeping Gentiles under involuntary servitude in Israel, there is no criminal penalty. Your prisoners are simply emancipated and deported. There have been several cases of Eastern European girls brought in for prostitution and their captors were not prosecuted. If you're really interested, look into it yourself.

    Nobody talks about it because they don't want the ADL jumping down their throat and in Europe and Canada you can be prosecuted for discussing these issues because you can be accused of inciting animosity toward minorities. See the above link in my comment about kosher slaughter houses; it was closed down for exposing the peculiar methods used by kosher butchers.

    Aren't you sorry you showed me how to make these links?

  32. Dink,
    See this 5min video about how the orthodox treat lesser Jews, never mind Gentiles.

  33. Valid point in abstract theory, but not emotionally satisfying.

    Global context versus individual event or person

    Arguing the logic of the book people believe came from an invisible sky man

    (the above is stuff I had thought in response to your e-mail, but would forget if I didn't type immediately)


    I haven't had a chance to look at your links yet. But I was pondering the emotional tone. It reminded of something I had once read about African-American complaints about discussing slavery with Caucasian-Americans. The A-As would bring up the horrors and C-As would immediately bring up abolitionists and other cultures that enslaved. Though the C-A points were not unrelated to the conversation, they never acknowledged the tragedy. Not because they did not believe it was a tragedy, but that they were uncomfortable or whatever. Lots of miscommunication and incorrectly assumed positions of the other side resulted.

    So I got to thinking that when you bring up these zionist wrongs and Thai starts talking about evolution, you think he's being abstract and therefore you are not emotionally satisfied. Perhaps you take my lumping them with all the other sky man cult horrors as dismissive as well.

    So I will give you some emotional satisfaction: people who act/believe as you have pointed out in links are assholes. Absolutely.

    But there is also wider context to the issue that warrants wandering off on tangents. Thai is interested in studying why rat-bastards evolved and how. Debra believes rat-bastardism will decline if the monetary system changes. I have concerns on whether we can reason with any sky-man cultists on what to do about rat-bastards. So by going off on our favorite tangents we are not denying that your particular favorite rat-bastards aren't in fact rat-bastards.

  34. How many ideologies elevate rat-bastardism to the status of high virtue? Columbus used to roast Carrib Indians alive but I don't think the church still promotes that mindset toward non-believers (as a matter of fact, I think the church disapproved of his proclivities at the time he was engaging in them). Orthodox rabbis still encourage the extermination of anyone they consider to be an Amalekite:

    "...killing Palestinians as if they were Biblical Amalekites or participants in 18th century Polish or Russian pogroms is a positive commandment."

    And you don't have to be a Palestinian to be considered an Amalekite; standing between the Jews and what they want will suffice.

  35. Geez, you guys, just reading you tonight makes me understand why I have become so hostile in general to abstractions and substantives.
    And why I am still ranting about the torture going on in U.S. prisons. And getting little response...
    Remember the credo : every advantage has its disadvantage, every disadvantage, its advantage (that must be zero sums in Thai's vocabulary...)
    Christian ethics are extremely utopian.
    The idea that one is an (original) sinner is designed to snip self-righteousness in the bud, and to discourage the extremely judgmental attitude that seems to prevail in humans.
    Promoting forgiveness and pardon are designed to take focus away from and mitigate, that most ABSTRACT and unsatisfactory (in my book at least...) ideal of JUSTICE.
    On another note, I know that SS does not seem to understand or appreciate the following point of view, but a close examination of the first 75 pages of Mein Kampf show that in its author's mind at least, "double appartenance", i.e. the fact of being both Jewish and German/Austrian was a real problem. Just WHERE do loyalties lie, perchance ?
    I think that most of us can concede that this issue REMAINS A PROBLEM, particularly when nationalism is exacerbated.
    And no convenient accusations of anti-semitism seem to magically solve this problem either...
    On a more conversational note, I tend to think these days that if ANY country should resort to nuclear tactics (Heaven forbid...), it would most probably be ISRAEL... Anyone feel like challenging me on that one ? (And I'm no more anti-semitic than most...) Thought not.

  36. I hear you Debra.

    Dink re: "people who act/believe as you have pointed out in links are assholes"

    How many times have I said the same thing???

    One wonders what it would be like to get Yo, saying stuff like "How many ideologies elevate rat-bastardism to the status of high virtue?" in the same room with Geert Wilder?

    Yo is trapped in a moral matrix.

  37. Cute Thai, but the big difference is that nobody in the west has a problem pointing to the ugly things shown in that film but not so when the head rabbi in Israel says it is permissible/mandatory to kill such and such enemy of Israel/Judaism.

    Second, that passage about unbelievers burning in hell is based on Christian belief. I don't know if you know it but Mohamed based the koran on the old and new testaments but to my knowledge there are no passages permitting the killing of children as there are in the old testament and, having looked up a few of these passages in the past, most of them are followed with something like 'but if they stop attacking you then make peace with them because God hates aggression'. Somehow that ALWAYS gets overlooked in these sort of Michelle Malkin productions.

    The people who committed the crimes shown have to hide in caves but the people who drop bombs on the civilians in those countries come back home to a hero's welcome. Aren't you the one who is always reminding everybody not to focus exclusively on the flashy examples and to add up the cost of all the little incidents which is far greater. Who's doing a better job of killing babies and which country benefits from it. I fail to see how it could be the US.

    Finally, the film somehow tried to draw a comparison between Muslim women wearing long clothes and violence, that sort of gives an insight in to its motives. All conservative religious Jews and Christians emphasize modesty as well and the Jewish ones insist on the separation of the sexes. Have you ever seen a Hasidic party; a room full of bearded men in long black coats dancing with each other. Does that somehow make them dangerous?

  38. In the above comment:

    "Who's doing a better job of killing babies and which country benefits from it. "

    should instead read:

    "Who's doing a better job of killing babies? and which country benefits from it?"

    They aren't rhetorical questions.

  39. Yo, you are missing my point.

    Remember, "trapped in moral matrix"??

    As I have been saying, though there is tremendous variation within all people and all societies, still we are all basically the same.

    e.g. "you are getting upset about 2 shades of the same blue".

    I simply used Geert Wilder as an example of someone else who is also trapped in a moral matrix, just as you remain.

    Were the two if you in the same room, the fireworks would be intense.


  40. Wow, looking at all the comments, and the links, etc etc, I hope that you guys realize WHY WW2 was fought, and WHY nothing was solved at the end of it and WHY France keeps trying to VACCINATE its children against anti-semitism ad nauseaum, and WHY it just WILL NOT WORK (not in my mind, at least...) ?

  41. Yoyo, I read the critique of the book on your link, and have THIS to say :
    I don't know if you relate to what I have been saying here about the epic struggle going on in the western world to emerge from monotheistic ideology. This struggle has been going on for quite some time now.
    ALL of our international institutions are built on the ashes of WW2. This has meaning to me.
    It means that a tragedy is playing out before our eyes, one that is in several acts, the last major one being WW2. The state of Israel emerged as an international power at the same time as our international institutions. It was created as a peace offering to Jewish VICTIMS, and in propitiation for the incredible violence done to individual Jews, taken as symbols of the Jewish faith.
    And our countries have done all in their power to maintain Israel's victim status.
    And this policy has done NO ONE any good.
    We have gotten our collective and sadistic kicks out of creating black and white societies of victims and torturers for far too long now. And we have organized this part of the world into a little arena to keep our collective eyes riveted on the big SHOW going on for OUR benefit. (Just like what goes on in prisons, you guys...)
    Well, now that the victims that we have enshrined are losing some of that lovely victim sheen that keeps us going, what is going to happen ?
    And is OUR collective blindness going to boomerang into, once more, the DESTRUCTION of (innocent and NOT innocent...) Jewish human beings ?
    Yoyo, how do you think that the Jews maintained JEWISH identity for more than 2000 years now ? By throwing big parties, saying EVERYONE was invited, and welcoming everybody into the faith ?
    Our "democratic" ideology is sickening in its self-righteousness, its petty bourgeois attitude, its moral shallowness, and its... naiveté.
    We're just going to have to find NEW idols, aren't we ?

  42. Debra,
    The policy of the west seems to be to try to wash the blood of Jewish victims off its hands with the blood of Palestinians; not going to work. The Palestinians are part of 300M Arabs who are part of 1.3B Muslims who (1) care about getting Palestine back more than the west cares about keeping it (2) have the home field advantage. In the end, what the Jews want doesn't matter as much without western backing and they won't be able to keep getting as it becomes more expensive to give.

    Israel will go the way of South Africa or it will all end in a big bang sometime down the line. The US no longer runs the world and it is losing more power every year and maintaining a military colony in the ME forever will not be possible.

  43. Stock traders should also keep an eye on the $11 billion auction of 30-year Treasury bonds today. Long bond yields have been falling steadily since the stock market started drifting down a few weeks ago. In fact, the yields on a 10- and 30-year paper are at their lowest level in seven weeks, 3.3% and 4.2%, respectively. We doubt today’s long bond auction will make a fuss… but it will one day.